MOSCOW, October 6 (RIA Novosti)
Victoria Azarenka completed a straight-sets win over ninth seed Marion Bartoli on Saturday to join Maria Sharapova in the final of the China Open.
Bartoli surrendered a close first set cheaply with a double fault, and the Belarusian world No. 1 broke four more times to secure a 6-4, 6-2 win.
Sunday’s final will see the fifth clash of the year between Azarenka and Sharapova, who earlier knocked out local favorite Li Na.
The Russian has beaten Azarenka only once this season, in the Stuttgart final in April.
The prize fund of the hard-court China Open is $4.8 million.
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New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.